One of the most creative resources for homeschooling, besides making lapbooks, is the mini-office. It becomes a mini reference center or tool containing information for students on any topic they are learning: math, writing, grammar, science, phonics ... anything. When mom/teacher is busy, the child has another source to go to for reference and information, to answer questions. Even when mom is available, our students need to learn how to look things up and not always ask us for answers. So, mini-offices help with that.
Basically, a mini-office is one or more file folders with information sheets glued on, centering around one topic, then laminated or covered with contact paper to help it last longer.
Another reason I like these is that they show the students how to organize information and how to break large topics (i.e., writing) into smaller bites (how to write a topic sentence, how to write a paragraph, punctuation). This helps our students become more organized in their thinking, and in their performance.
So, if your student continues to be baffled by the writing process, now's the time to put together a writing mini-office, to help her with the process. It just might help!
If there is a lot of information, you might need more than one file folder. Cut the tabbed sides off, so the sides are flush. You can attach the folders in one of two ways:
Once the folders are attached, then the fun begins! You can use worksheets provided at the websites listed, or pull them from other places on the internet, or even find them in curricula and textbooks. Just print or copy them, then cut the excess paper from around the margins. And you can make them yourself. I love to personalize things like this to my child, so it helps them with their rough spots, yet has enough information to last a while, including the next steps in their learning process.
Let the students jazz up the worksheets with coloring. Using the computer, or markers, create a title for the mini-office: "My Writing Mini-Office," or "Kaitlyn's Math Mini-Office." Make it meaningful to the child.
Place the charts, graphs, lists, instructions, and stickers where you want them, then glue them down. Remember, these don't have to stick well, just long enough to get it laminated or covered with contact paper.
Mini-office pictures and information:
Mark & Kym Wright have homeschooled since the mid-80s. They have 8 children, having graduated 3. Kym pens the "Learn and Do" unit studies. You can visit her website at: www.Learn-and-Do.com. First published in The Mother's Heart magazine, a premium online publication for mothers with hearts in their homes. Visit www.The-Mothers-Heart.com for more information.
Receive free weekly e-Couragement for moms in the Weekly Wakeup with Kym Wright. For more information, and to sign up, visit: http://alwrightpublishing.com/weekly_wakeup.htm
I got this as an email this morning and wanted to share (and remember these websites). I made one of these for Sis and Ry not to long ago; but since they are learning to read, I think I need to make another one for them. With the letter blends and word families on it. We liked these and have used them quite a bit - they are easy to grab when you are walking out the door!